Book Release: Surviving With Grace

LindaBrawnerIn Surviving With Grace, Linda Werman Brawner, from Ohio Conference’s Mansfield church, shares how the Lord helped her navigate depression while caring for a terminally ill spouse and dealing with other trials. Read our interview with Brawner for tips on how to cope with life’s crises.

Visitor: How did writing this book impact your journey?

Brawner: Writing the book was painful. In order to help others, I couldn’t just recall events. I had to remember how it felt and what my mind could do at the time. It changed me because I learned that God could use our pain to create ministry.

Visitor: What advice would you give people who are also going through hard times?

Brawner: When you are tempted to think, “I can’t,” ask God, “How can I?” on anything from everyday tasks to huge projects. For example, I can’t lift as much as I used to, so I move items into smaller packages. This allows me to handle lots of clothing donations when I volunteer at a local ministry. Sometimes in social settings that can be overwhelming, I set small goals. For example, I might tell myself to greet one or two instead of trying to be as outgoing as “Miss America.”

When life is really stressful, try to hang onto one or two things that feel normal. For example, I kept working part time during most of my husband’s illness.

Visitor: You mentioned in the book that people didn’t reach out to you that much when you were going through depression. How would you encourage others to reach out?  Why is it important?
Brawner: Reaching out is as simple as smiling at us in church and saying, “Good morning.” Sit beside us. Tell us a little story how God is blessing you. Direct us to cheerful things like the view out the window or the flowers up front. Call or send cards during the week. Don’t let us suck you into a two-hour conversation about how bad life is. If we just sit and stare, don’t assume we think ill of you. Touch us appropriately. Clinical depression isn’t a virus. You won’t catch it from us. By interacting with us briefly, you tell us that we are important to God.

Surviving With Grace Book cover.6.24 PMVisitor: Are there any new books in your future?
Brawner: I don’t know for sure. I may very well be a “Johnny one note.”

Visitor: What else should we know about the book?
Brawner: Surviving With Grace is very evangelical in nature. It focuses on who God is and how much He wants to save everyone. I have avoided Christian and Adventist jargon so that everyone can understand it.

Visit TEACH to purchase a copy of Surviving With Grace.